Rain increases water capacity of Spanish reservoirs to almost 48%

by Lorraine Williamson
reservoir capacity
nederlandse orthopeed

The recent rains have partly mitigated the significant shortage of water resources in Spain. At the moment, the Spanish reservoirs are at 47.6% of their maximum capacity. Less than a month ago, this was still 35.7%. 

In the past month, water reserves in Spain have increased by 724 cubic hectometres (hm3). At the moment, Spain has 26,701 (hm3) of water reserve, which means that the Spanish reservoirs are currently at 47.6% of their maximum capacity. 

Spain exceeds 2022 water capacity 

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (Miteco) published this week the figures of water resources in Spain. The good news is that Spain has surpassed last year’s water reserves for around this time. However, the fact remains that it is still far from the total capacity of 56,108 hm3. 

Increases and decreases in capacity of Spanish reservoirs 

The Ministry says that water resources have increased capacity compared to a year ago in the following areas;

  • The west coast of Cantabria (from 77.3% to 78.8%)
  • Miño-Sil (75.5% to 78.8%)
  • Duero (50.8% to 55.5%)
  • Tagus (62.4% to 63.7%)
  • Guadiana (33, 0% to 33.4%)
  • Ebro (43.6% to 44.4%)

The reservoirs at Guadalete Barbate (29.6 to 29.7%), Guadalquivir (24.2 to 24.4%) Mediterránea Andaluza (37.9 to 38.1%) and Júcar (57.1 to 57.6 %) show a slight increase. 

Cogesa Expats

However, the capacity of all reservoirs in Spain has not increased compared to a year ago. For example, capacity fell in eastern Cantabria (67.1 to 65.8%), the coast of Galicia (92.1 to 92%), Tinto, Odiel and Piedras (83.8 to 83.4%) and the internal basins of Catalonia (31.3 to 31%). 

Big differences in Spain 

According to Miteco, more rain has fallen on the Atlantic side this year (capacity went from 17,287 hm3 in 2022 to 20,486 hm3 this year). In the past week alone, 110.4 litres per square metre fell in Pontevedra. And in the past year, the Mediterranean side suffered a significant loss of water resources. The total capacity on this side of Spain went from 7,624 hm3 to 6,215 hm3. 

Rain does not solve all problems in Spain 

Although the large amount of rain is certainly helping, it will not solve the major problem of an increasingly drier Spain. The Spanish government, regional authorities and environmental authorities must join forces and come up with a joint plan to ensure that Spain does not dry out. 

Also read: Spain and Portugal want to fight drought in rivers together

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